Archive for the ‘Student Opportunities’ Category

January Newsletter

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

General Land Office Essay Contest

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

Due Date Extended  to November 15th for Texas GLO Essay Contest
GLO Essay


Details provided here:

Students in grade 4th and 7th are welcome to enter the General Land Office Essay contest.

The student should address the question, “What history in your community or in Texas, is worth saving?”

The student’s name should not appear on any portion of the essay.

The submission should be stapled to the signed contest entry form. Electronic and paper submissions are acceptable.

**Include authors, publication titles & dates for all sources used.  For online sources, list the full URL of each page.

A Night of Connections with Austin Museums

Friday, October 16th, 2015


AMP partnership

The Bob Bullock Museum hosted a wonderful night of learning on October 1st with a symposium of local groups who all share a love of educating, across the city of Austin and surrounding areas on a daily basis.  Planned and sponsored by the Austin Museum Partnership, this night was a wonderful mix of connections for any teacher.  I floated from one area to the next with ‘aha’ moments of how experiences offered throughout the city could benefit many students and their own knowledge.

Inspiring a love for learning happens with both little moments and major events.  Each day students are enjoying the gift of social studies by coming to class and receiving snippets of time and reflecting on how each one connects to the larger picture of humanity.  The Night for Educators inspired me to think of the implications each museum has for the classroom.  It was wonderful to see such rich experiences available within the city for everyone.  A combination of art, science and history filled the Bullock Museum and the amazing resources available to both teachers and students made my heart smile.  Each museum had a connection to one of our social studies courses and as I collected documents, cards  and dates, I realized this was more than just one blog post but an opportunity to spot light each of museum and its connections to courses for teachers to have and share with students. As a transplant to Austin, I am eager to connect the wonderful historical landmarks and museums to the education that connects our students to the world around them.

***Please join me with collecting pictures and writing articles that could connect us all to the beauty and creativity of our state’s Capital and the surrounding areas.  Feel free to email me at if you are interested in being a contributor to the Social Studies Central blog series, Making the Connections: Local Learning for the Classroom.    

Preserving Thanksgiving Memories with StoryCorps

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

Many of us are fans of StoryCorps, the NPR series that brings us all back to the love of storytelling through interviews.  I was excited to learn of their campaign The Great Listen for Thanksgiving.  They are asking for high school teachers and students to take this challenge and sign up for their Educator’s Toolkit

Anyone over the age of 13 can participate (with parental consent if you’re under 18). Simply download the StoryCorps app and use the built-in prompts to record and publish an interview over Thanksgiving weekend. There are resources here to help you get the most out of your interview experience.

Definitely take this opportunity to interview family and reminisce on old and new traditions  this holiday season.  This is real world inquiry learning that will last a lifetime for students and their family.  Learning the art of interviewing and preservation of family memories is important to humanity and lies at the heart of all courses in social studies.  Join me and others by participating in  NPR’s Great Listen campaign.


Download the StoryCorps App

General Land Office Presentation Live (5.29.15) at 2pm

Thursday, May 28th, 2015


 Join General Land Commissioner, George P. Bush

LIVE on Friday, May 29th at 2pm


He will be presenting an exciting session on Character which will include primary source documents.This is a great opportunity for your students to see how we use historic documents today and develop their own ideas about character.

Grants & Scholarships Available for Social Studies

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

tcss grants

TCSS Stalwart Mini-Grants

Intended for continuing education in social studies. Up to four (4) $500 teacher mini-grants will be awarded each year. One will be awarded in memory of Jean Lantz. The funds may be used to purchase curriculum materials to be used in the classroom and/or to cover training/conference expenses not covered by other sources. Applicants must be a member of TCSS for the past two years followed by submitting a lesson/article to The Texan, or by leading a professional development session at the Fall TCSS Conference or district training. The TCSS-Stalwart-Mini-Grant-application-form deadline is April 15.

  • (Click here) for The TCSS Stalwart Mini-Grants Application

The Stephen Johnson Student Scholarships

Named after a one of the organization’s tenured members.  Stephen Johnson was a school teacher for many years.  He served as president,  served as TCSS Executive Secretary helping to host a decade of conferences and received our top honor,The Billy Sills Distinguished Service award.

The scholarships are two $2000 awards for graduating high school or college students intent on a career teaching social studies. In order to qualify for the scholarship, applicants’ major field of study must be related to social studies education. The TCSS Scholarship deadline is  April 15.


Texas Travels Essay Contest

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

Encourage students to write about their learning and participate in Texas General Land Office Save Our Texas History project.  The contest is open to all public, private and home -schooled students of appropriate age for fourth and seventh grades.

Entries must be received by March 13, 2015TGLO


One grand prize winner per grade level will receive round trip airline tickets for four to San Antonio from any Southwest Airlines destination in Texas, hotel accomodations for two nights and complimentary tickets to attractions provided by the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau.  Ten finalist per grade level will win Save Texas History backpacks, certificates of appreciation and historic map replica from the Land Office Map collection.

For registration and  details of evaluation & judging, please follow the link  below:

Contact Buck Cole with any questions at 800.998.4456 or 512.936.9644 or

Student Contest from the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

Student Contest from the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission

Greetings from the Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission!

We are beginning to collect submissions for our annual Student Video Contest. The theme for this year’s contest is Creating a More Just World. We hope to inspire students to become better citizens through understanding the consequences of hatred, bigotry, and apathy.

We are reaching out to you and asking that you will share this information with principals and social studies coordinators in your Region and encourage student participation in the contest. Last year, we had nearly 50 entries and over 140 students participate across the state of Texas, representing 16 schools and 10 districts. This year, our goal is to increase student entries to 75 and have the participation of 200 students from at least 15 school districts.

There are two grade categories (Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12) and three levels of awards: Gold Key ($375), Silver Key ($200) and Bronze Key ($125). Teachers of Gold Key winning students will receive $100 for class supplies.

Please see the attached letter from Chairman Peter Berkowitz and the contest flyer for more information about this year’s contest, including rules and deadlines (March 13, 2015).

2015 Contest Flyer

Commissioner Letter

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out via email ( or phone (512-463-0783).

Robin C. Lane
Education Specialist
Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission
P.O. Box 12276
Austin, TX 78711


Upcoming Student Contests & Free Documentary Event for High School Students

Monday, December 1st, 2014

As a classroom teacher, it was a really cool feeling to have my students succeed in a student contest that I shared with them.  Two of my students won Grand Prize and 2nd place in a Hispanic Heritage Poster Contest sponsored the History Channel and it was really exciting to celebrate their success.  Below are are three student contests and a documentary event that may be of interest to your students.  Just an FYI – sponsoring teachers also get recognition in student contests and possible monetary awards, too.    

1. Texas History Day T-Shirt Design Contest      

Texas History Day encourages all students to submit an original t-shirt design for the Texas History Day 2015 theme: Leadership and Legacy in History.  The winning design will be featured on the 2014 t-shirt and sold at the 2014 state contest. The name of the winning student, school, and teacher will be posted on the Texas History Day 2014 web site. 

Prize: $50.00, awesome recognition and a free t-shirt

Eligibility: The contest is open to all students. 

Deadline: Friday, December 12, 2014

For contest rules and more information visit the contest website here.  








2. LBJ Presidential Library 2015 Civil Rights Today Essay and Documentary Contest

The topic of the essay and documentary contest is “Voting Rights Today.” The Voting Rights Act was passed as a result of the widespread disenfranchisement of countless Americans who were denied the right to vote based on their race, gender, or class. This act enforced the right to vote nationwide guaranteed by the fifteenth and nineteenth amendments.

Prizes: $2,500 (first place), $1,000 (second place), $1,000 to first place student’s sponsoring teacher

Eligibility: The contest is open to 12th grade students attending Texas public, private, charter, parochial, or home schools. 

Deadline: January 26, 2015

For more information visit the contest website here


3. Abdelkader Global Leadership Prize 2014-2015 Essay Contests 

Prizes: $1,000 (first place), $500.00 (second place) 

Eligibility: U.S. High School students

Essay deadline: April 15, 2015

Download the 2014-2015 Essay Contest – Flyer for more information or visit the contest website here.  


FREE documentary event for Austin area high school students:                            

Lake Travis High School Model UN club is hosting a film screening of the documentary Girl Rising on December 6, 2014.  They are opening the screening to the public and and seeking attendance from other high school students.  

From Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins, Girl Rising journeys around the globe to witness the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world. Viewers get to know nine unforgettable girls living in the developing world: ordinary girls who confront tremendous challenges and overcome nearly impossible odds to pursue their dreams. Prize-winning authors put the girls’ remarkable stories into words, and renowned actors give them voice.  

Schedule of Events:

12:30 Welcome, Introductions, and Light Refreshments

1:00 Movie (103 minutes running time)

2:45 Guest Panel and Discussion 

Girl Rising is supporting thousands of International Day of the Girl events around the world. Your attendance will send a message: Investing in girls is not just right, it’s smart.  Educate girls.  Change the World.

Location: Lake Travis Community Library – 1938 Lohmans Crossing Rd. Austin, TX 78734

Click on the following link to register for this event.  For more information about the film, go to or check out the trailer below.  


Academic WorldQuest 2014-2015

Monday, September 29th, 2014

Austin’s 2014 – 2015
Academic WorldQuest Competition


WorldQuest is a FREE academic competition open to all Central Texas high school students (9-12). The competition tests students’ knowledge of international affairs and is AP compatible. Each school is allowed up to three teams of four students.The Austin WorldQuest is on February 28th, 2015 (location and time TBD), so please mark your calendar! The winning team will represent Austin in Washington D.C., on April 25th, 2015.This is a fantastic opportunity for globally minded students AND a great college resume builder!All schools/teams in the Region XIII area are welcome to participate, including those from independent schools. WHAT TO DO NEXT: 1) To enter, email the WorldQuest coordinator at with the following information: school name, team member names, designated student team leader name/email, and contact information for your adult sponsor. As a result, you will receive confirmation of your entry, your team’s Great Decisions magazine will be mailed (FREE), and your team leader and sponsor will receive necessary updates. 2) Once you have formed your team, start studying! Download the study guide: Divide and assign the ten topics among team members (two people on your team will have to study three subjects). Each team member will benefit by printing all information for his/her topic and organizing them in a binder.

3) Attend TRIVIA NIGHT on January 25, 2015 @ 4:30pm. This is a great opportunity to see how well your team has prepared. Identify the areas which need focus before the regional competition. More details to come.

We look forward to your participation, and please contact Tracey Vickery with your questions. She can be reached by phone at 512.922.3236, or via email at

2014-2015 topics:

  • Russia/Eurasia
  • Human Trafficking
  • Youth, Jobs & Social Unrest
  • Future of Energy
  • Millennium Development Goals: 2015 & Beyond
  • Food & Water
  • Asia & the New Global Economy
  • Africa Rising
  • Great Decisions
  • Current Events

Download the study guide and get started:

Promo flyer:

Important dates:
Trivia night: 1/25/15

Austin WorldQuest Competition: 2/28/15

Nationals: 4/25/15

The Austin website:

National website:

Use apps to keep up with current events. Associated Press:

NY Times weekly news quiz:

Please help sponsor the trip to Washington, D.C.!Support the academic pursuits of Austin’s young leaders. See the site for details:

Check out what participating Austin students had to say about Academic WorldQuest.